You mail starts going to the virtual mailbox, and they scan the outside of each envelope for you to look at. Then you tell them with each piece whether you want it forwarded, want the internal pages scanned, or want it shredded.
Yes, you can continue using your real address for important mail or anything you want and just use the virtual one to catch the junk mail.
Who Needs Virtual Mail?
Virtual mail is great for frequent travelers. You may be RVing around the country or jet setting around the globe. Or you may just spend a lot of nights away from home as part of your job.
Instead of dealing with the post office and vacation mail stops, or asking a neighbor to grab the mail for you, your service does all the work.
It’s also great for those who can’t receive FedEx or UPS parcels where they live. Your virtual mailbox service can bundle up a bunch of these packages and then forward them to you as needed.
And these services also help those who can’t pick up their mail as often as they need to. For example, you may work late most evenings and live in a courtyard apartment where the mailboxes aren’t well-lit. If you don’t feel safe grabbing your mail, this might be the option you’re looking for.
Or maybe you don’t have a very secure place to receive parcels, and you’re concerned about someone stealing or damaging them.
And then there’s the home-based small business owner, freelancer or solopreneur. These services can give you a legitimate business address to show to clients or the world at large without exposing your home address.
Anytime Mailbox has the most affordable plans on this list, starting at $5.99. Different locations have different pricing, and you can choose extra options if you think you'll have a lot of items you want them to open and scan, or forward to you. Check depositing and shredding are also available options.
You choose an address from a network of 923 they have worldwide, though mostly in the United States. Your physical mail will be sent to that address. They scan envelopes so you can look at them online in their secure portal, by phone or computer.
You can pick and choose which pieces of mail you want them to open and scan, or shred, or deposit in the case of checks. You can also choose to have a piece of mail forwarded to you.
If you go over your plan limits, you can pay small fees for the extra pieces of mail or tasks. If this keeps happening, you may save money by upgrading your account.
Traveling Mailbox will scan labels from mail and parcels you get and upload them. You can then choose whether you want them to (a) just shred it, (b) open it and scan the contents of paper mail or (b) forward the mail/parcel to you.
This is especially good if you move or travel a lot and don't ever want to have to update your address with anyone except Traveling Mailbox. They can even deposit checks for you, for an additional fee.
Each plan includes a certain number of recipients, a certain number of mail pieces they will receive each month, a certain number they will scan, etc. If you go over plan limits, there are extra fees, and if this happens often it would probably make sense to upgrade to a new plan.
They give you 12 physical mailing addresses to choose from, all in the mainland US. There are several to choose from in California alone, making this a particularly good choice if you want a California address.
Traveling Mailbox will also deposit checks for you into the bank of your choice, for an additional fee per check.
Integrations: Traveling Mailbox integrates with Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Evernote, and Box.com.
Post Scan Mail range from $15 to $30. They vary according to how many recipients you have, how much mail you get, and how many pieces you expect them to open and scan for you. Some extra features are available for small fees.
They will consolidate mail you need sent to you and send it in one big package. They can also handle your package forwarding. And if you get junk mail, they'll recycle an unlimited amount of it on any plan.
You choose an address from over 400 available, mostly in the United States with a few outside it. You can access your mail online with your phone, tablet or computer.
They'll store your mail for 30 days, and you can pay a small fee to have them store it longer if you need. Local pickup by you is also an option if you pick an address close to you.
Earth Class Mail has changed their plans and price structure, so if you've looked at them before and thought they were too expensive, take another look now. Their new plans are much more competitive for individuals and households.
Their service includes receiving your mail at their Beaverton, Oregon facility address (there are other addresses available on the more expensive individual and business plans). They have HIPAA certified technicians handling your mail, adding additional peace of mind if you choose to let them handle your medical mailings.
When you look at the scans of your envelops online, you tell Earth Class Mail what to do with each piece. You can instruct them to trash and recycle junk mail, deposit checks (for an extra fee), download important documents to save, or forward to your attorney, accountant or colleague.
With each plan, you get a monthly limit of how many mail pieces they will receive each month, how many scans you will need, etc. You probably want to pick your plan based on the number of recipients who will be getting mail.
Start with the lowest plan that has enough recipients, and upgrade if you need to later.
Integrations: Earth Class Mail integrates with QuickBooks Online, Xero, Bill.com, Box, Google Drive and others.
iPostal1 is competitively priced, and even more affordable if you pay for an annual plan up front. Plans are based on how many pieces of mail you expect to receive.
All the plans allow 5 recipients for a personal household or for business, 4 recipients plus a business name. This should be enough for most people. If you need more, you can set up an additional mailbox.
This service offers over 900 physical addresses for you to choose. And unlike most services, this one allows you to come and pick up mail at one of their facilities. Pick one near you if that's an option you'd like to have.
Check depositing by mail is available for a fee. You can also receive faxes via iPostal1.
Integrations: iPostal1 lists no integrations on their website at this time.